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‘Tale Alimi: Why Buy a Designer Bag When You Haven’t Designed a BHAG?

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About a year ago, my sister gave me a beautiful black Michael Kors bag. I love the bag not only because it is a designer bag, but because it is durable and good quality. However, I noticed recently that I have really carried the bag a little too often and it was beginning to show signs of wear and tear. I decided that I was going to window shop and consider the possibility of buying a companion for this bag. As I browsed through various websites, I found my dream bag; it was a beige structured tote from Prada, however when I saw the price, I did a double take and decided to put my dream on hold for some time until I achieved my BHAG.

I went to a seminar some years ago, and the speaker told us a story about a man who had come to meet him for a loan to fund his business. He said as he listened to the man speak, he noticed the quality of his designer suit and wrist watch and wondered why the man was looking for such a small amount of capital, when he was actually wearing his capital!

A lot of us ladies have been guilty of crying that the reason why we can’t live our dreams is because we don’t have enough money or no one to give us the resources to fund our dreams. However we seem to be able to afford some items that could possibly contribute to fund dreams like; pay for a training program, buy a capital asset or even start a business. I am not advocating that you should not look good and take care of yourself; I am saying there is a time for everything, so you need to set a BHAG before you buy your next BAG.

So what is a BHAG? It is a Big, Hairy, Audacious, Goal.

It is a concept that was introduced by Jim Collins in his book, Good to Great.  This means that you acquire things that are ‘wants’ (not necessities) as a reward for achieving you BHAG. So how do you set a BHAG?

Decide What You Want to Achieve
This is your goal and it should be big enough to stretch you at the same time realistic enough so that you don’t get overwhelmed and give up. A good way to set a BHAG is to take an inventory of where you are now and decide where you would like to be. For example, do you weigh 100kg now and would like to weigh 80kg in the next 3 months? Or do you have hundred thousand in savings now and would like to have one million in savings at the end of the year?

Determine Your ‘WHY’
This is examining your motive and deciding why you want to achieve what you want. It is very important, because if your ‘why’ is not deep enough, you would not be motivated enough to keep at it. So a good ‘why’ is; I want to do that training program so I can become more competent at my job and get a promotion. A bad ‘why’ is; I want to do the training program so that I can show my colleagues that I am also certified or I have also done a training abroad.

Set a Time Frame
How long would it take you to achieve your goal? Most BHAGs have a long time frame, but you can set milestones along the way. For example if you want to save 5 million for a down payment for a house or to buy land, you can set a milestone of 1 million Naira a year and in 5 years, you should achieve your goal.

Decide Your Reward
Now this is the fun part. What would your reward be for achieving every milestone or achieving your BHAG? A reward is a good motivator because when you think about it, it keeps you driven to achieve your goal. For example my reward is the beautiful tote I spoke about earlier and my BHAG is to achieve a certain financial goal that would enable me use my profits to buy my BAG.

So before you buy your next bag or whatever your desire to acquire, set a BHAG and you can share with us, so we can cheer you and keep you accountable.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Sdeva

'Tale Alimi is the Co-founder and current CEO of Owoafara, a fund matching and business support platform for African MSME's. She is also the Lead strategist of Tale Alimi Global; a strategy consulting boutique focused on working with visionary and forward thinking SME's to take their business from small to scale. She is the author of Uplevel and her latest book Small to Scale. She has a Masters in Business Administration from Lagos business school, a certificate in personal coaching from the coaching academy UK. She is a social innovation fellow with the startingbloc institute in the United States. When she is not thinking about innovative business models, she is an avid fitness enthusiast. Learn more about her new startup Owoafara:( Get daily business inspiration when you follow her on twitter ( and get an insight into her life on Instagram (

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